3-Night Trip From Seattle

Get a big dose of what the Olympic Peninsula has to offer. From Seattle, you can reach it all in no time by car and ferry. And with our three-night itinerary, you’ll have ample time to explore and discover. If you have more time to spare, extend your trip to take in even more of the Olympic Peninsula, along with other Pacific Northwest destinations.

Day 1: Downtown Seattle to Port Townsend

Drive time: 2 hours

  • Drive aboard the Bainbridge Island ferry for your 30-minute cruise across Elliott Bay. Take in the Seattle waterfront and skyline from the stern. (If you’re departing from SeaTac International Airport, you can also take I-5 South to U.S. Highway 16 and cross the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.)
  • Travel north on the Kitsap Peninsula via Washington State Route 3. Turn left on State Route 104 and cross the floating Hood Canal Bridge.
  • Turn right on Washington State Route 19 toward the historical seaport burg of Port Townsend. With its eclectic shops, waterfront dining, art galleries, Victorian architecture, a slew of special events and more—there’s no shortage of things to do and see. But pace yourself. There’s a lot ahead as you continue your adventure.

 

Port Townsend to Sequim
Drive time: 45 minutes

  • Traveling U.S. Highway 101, wind through the small town of Blyn, home of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and a collection of stunning hand-carved totem poles. Go just 10 minutes further and you’ll reach the town of Sequim and its quaint boutiques, art galleries and restaurants serving locally-sourced fare. It’s the perfect spot for a lunch break. Sequim is an abundant agricultural center noted for its lavender, celebrated at the annual Sequim Lavender Weekend the third weekend of July.
  • Be one with nature with a visit to the Dungeness Spit, a 5.5-mile natural sand spit and wildlife refuge just north of Sequim.
  • Stay the night in Sequim or in nearby Port Angeles. You’ll find ample lodging options, including camping and RV sites, affordable hotels and motels, along with bed and breakfast options and vacation rentals.

 

Sequim to Port Angeles
Drive time: 25 minutes

  • Port Angeles is the largest town on the Olympic Peninsula. Take time to shop, stroll the waterfront and taste fresh local seafood and regional craft beer and wine.

 

Day 2: Port Angeles to Hurricane Ridge

Drive time: 45 minutes

  • The snow-capped peaks of the Olympic Mountains beckon. Morning is a great time to visit Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park.
  • In Port Angeles, stop at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center to pick up a park pass (required for entry to Hurricane Ridge), maps, backcountry wilderness permits and loads of helpful information.
  • From the visitor center, follow Hurricane Ridge Road 18 miles to reach your destination. At 5,242 feet, you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world.

 

Hurricane Ridge to Lake Crescent
Drive time: 1 hour 10 minutes

  • Head west on U.S. Highway 101. If you have time for a side trek, take a left on Olympic Hot Springs Road (just before crossing the Elwha River) to see Madison Falls.
  • Continue west on U.S. Highway 101 to the deep, turquoise waters of Lake Crescent.
  • Visit historic Lake Crescent Lodge (open May through New Year’s Day) or hit the trail to Marymere Falls, one of the Olympic Peninsula’s best short hikes. For lunch, pull up a chair in the lodge’s waterfront dining room or pack a picnic to enjoy along the lakeshore. Top off your Lake Crescent visit with a paddle on crystal-clear waters. Take a guided scenic tour or rent a kayak, canoe or paddleboard.

 

Lake Crescent to Neah Bay
Drive time: 1 hour 30 minutes

  • Continue west on U.S. Highway 101 and north to U.S. Highway 113. In just two miles, plan a stop along the side of the road for an up-close look at Beaver Falls.
  • After a few miles you’ll connect with State Route 112, the Strait of Juan de Fuca Scenic Byway. This stunning route travels through the historic towns of Clallam Bay, Sekiu and Neah Bay, renowned for wildlife, fishing, water recreation and rich Native American culture.
  • In Neah Bay, take time to visit the Makah Cultural and Research Center to learn more about the Makah Tribe’s centuries-old connection to the land and water.
  • If you don’t run out of daylight, trek the Cape Flattery Trail to where the Pacific Ocean and Strait of Juan de Fuca meet. The churning waves, mysterious sea caves and abundant wildlife make it unforgettable.
  • Neah Bay offers comfortable and affordable lodging options, along with several camping and RV sites.

 

Day 3: Neah Bay to Forks

Drive time: 1 hour

  • If you need to get another ocean-hike fix this morning, the Shi Shi Beach trail and the Ozette Loop are great options and offer stunning views. If the rain forest beckons, hit the road early and take State Route Highway 112 toward the timber town of Forks and the world-renowned Hoh Rain Forest.
  • The historic timber hamlet of Forks and nearby La Push attract thousands of fans each year eager to pay homage to the town that inspired the Stephanie Meyer’s book series Twilight. The annual Forever Twilight in Forks festival in September celebrates all things Bella, Edward and Jacob.
  • Make a stop at Forks Outfitters to stock up on food and supplies.

 

Forks to the Hoh Rain Forest
Drive time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • Travel 13 miles south on State Highway 101 then east on Upper Hoh Road. You’re on your way to the quietest place on earth—the Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park. If you haven’t already purchased a National Park Pass, you can take care of that at the park gate.
  • Stop at the visitor center to learn about Washington state’s temperate rain forest and stroll the Hall of Mosses trail for some amazing photo ops.

Hoh Rain Forest to Kalaloch Lodge or Lake Quinault
Drive time: 1 hour or 1 hour 30 minutes depending on destination

  • Head south on U.S. Highway 101 toward the Pacific Ocean and make a stop at one of the region’s most iconic beaches—Ruby Beach.
  • Enjoy dinner with an ocean view at Creekside Restaurant located in the historic Kalaloch Lodge (open year-round). Cabin rentals are also available.
  • A short walk through Kalaloch Campground to the beach will take you to one of the most peculiar sites on the Olympic Peninsula. The Tree of Life, or Root Cave, is a living, thriving Sitka spruce with exposed roots mysteriously suspended from the eroded cliff-side.
  • It’s just 30 minutes to your evening destination, the hamlet community at Lake Quinault. You’ll find several lodging options, including the majestic and historic Lake Quinault Lodge. Plan for dinner at Roosevelt Dining Room or enjoy a lakeside picnic.

 

Day 4: Lake Quinault Area

  • Wake up inspired and allow plenty of time to explore this unique area of the Olympic Peninsula. Several short trails offer waterfall views and take you through towering trees. Paddle the lake or opt for a three-hour van tour into the Quinault Rain Forest. If you’re looking for an unforgettable backcountry experience, venture to the Enchanted Valley, also known as the Valley of 10,000 Waterfalls.

 

Lake Quinault to Seattle
Drive time: 2 hours 40 minutes

  • Make the drive in one long stretch or break up your return trip with stops along the way.
  • Travel south on U.S. 101 through the towns of Hoquiam and Aberdeen. Continue east towards the scenic state capital of Olympia, a great place to stop for dinner.
  • Continue north on I-5 toward Seattle.

Travel times and distances are approximate. Traffic, ferry delays, inclement weather, road construction and bridge closures can affect travel times. For information on current road conditions visit wsdot.com.

Travel times and distances are approximate. Traffic, ferry delays, inclement weather, road construction and bridge closures can affect travel times. For information on current road conditions visit wsdot.com.